Sir Roger Moore has died aged 89 following a short battle with cancer.
The actor – best known for playing James Bond – passed away earlier today in Switzerland following a “short but brave” battle with cancer, his children announced in a statement on his official Twitter account.
“The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone,” they added. “We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF which he considered to be his greatest achievement.
“The affection our father felt when he walked on to a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundations of the building just a short distance from where he was born.”
With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg— Sir Roger Moore (Legacy) (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017
The statement confirmed that a private funeral will take place in Monaco where Moore was a resident and had one of his three homes.
Born in 1927, he was best known for being the third actor to play James Bond, appearing in seven 007 films between 1973 and 1985.
But prior to taking on Ian Fleming’s iconic secret agent, the actor made a string of TV hits, starting with Ivanhoe in 1958 and going on to appear in The Alaskans, Maverick, The Persuaders and The Saint.
The latter ran for six series between 1962 and 1969 and saw Moore play Simon Templar in a new adaptation of Leslie Charteris’s novels, a role that many saw as an early indicator of the suavity he brought to 007. The show’s success across the pond ensured that Moore was a household name in America, as well as in his native UK.
Still, it was the Bond films for which he’ll be best remembered, starting with the well-received Live and Let Die in 1973, and followed by The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy and A View to Kill, eventually handing over the mantle to Timothy Dalton. Moore remains the longest running actor in the role.
He was awarded a CBE in 1999 and a knighthood in 2003, the latter citing his extensive charity work as a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador. In 2008 he was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on television and in film.
Moore is survived by his fourth wife, Kristina Tholstrup, and his three children.